Mike Abasolo wasn’t sure where his coaching career might take him.
The Mulvane native and resident knew he wanted basketball in his future, and he was able to tie his hometown to his aspirations in 2008 after stops at Newman (plus his playing career as a Jet), Wichita South and Campus.
Now a father of four, he also knew he’d want to give his kids an opportunity to play sports. What couldn’t have been dreamt of is not one, but two sons, who helped give Mulvane its best start, 8-0, in school history.
Trey, who is a senior and a Southwestern commit, has become the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,386 career points) after scoring 11 points against Wellington in its 54-32 win on Friday, Feb. 19. He bested longtime friend and former teammate Drew Ellis (1,382 set in 2019). Kaiden, a freshman, also starts for the Wildcats and gives their father a front row seat to their basketball pursuits.
Now 14-3, two games separate Mulvane with the postseason.
“It’s exciting to see Kaiden excel at a high level with how young he is,” Mike said. “To also see Trey out there doing what he has done for this program … I take a lot of deep breaths in games and smile knowing how special this is.”
Being tied to the Abasolo name has never brought a sense of pressure for either brother. It rather strikes pride for the eldest son, understanding what it means to wear the same jersey his father wore in the mid-1990s.
“He has been my coach for as long as I can remember,” Trey said. “… When you grow up with him and your dad in that role, it becomes something you cherish more than something that feels like pressure.”
The sharpshooter’s performance is icing on the cake for the family. While helping reset the program’s future was a part of Trey’s goals, the record books are just a sliver of the career that he hoped for with the Wildcats.
A part of the equation this year is a state tournament berth. Mulvane has not played at state since 2017 and the school has only gone four times since 1984. That was the year of the school’s only state championship. Both Trey and Kaiden want to be a part of getting back to Class 4A supremacy.
“We’ve preached as a team that we want our focus to be streamlined and we’re not trying to go [any particular record]-0,” Trey said. “We just want to be 1-0 every single game. That’s the way we’ve looked at it this whole season.”
Mike remembers sitting down with both of his sons last summer, trying to make sense of what COVID-19 might do to Mulvane’s season. Was there going to be one? Was there even going to be a school year? If there was school, would they maybe get one or two games in before they have to shut down?
While all valid questions, Trey wanted to keep those questions quiet and control what was in front of him. It was a message he also wanted to instill in his younger brother.
A season lost would have also kept the middle siblings from getting to share the court together for the first time, and it is a moment that Kaiden isn’t taking for granted.
“It has been easier for me having Trey around,” Kaiden said. “To have my dad coaching too, it’s a lot easier for me. To be able to watch Trey in years past too, it has made it way more comfortable for me.”
Twelve years of Mulvane basketball have brought hundreds of past, present and future Wildcats to his roster. However, Mike can’t deny what it means to see his two sons share the floor together. It’s a courtside view he won’t be forgetting any time soon.
“It has changed me from coach to dad,” Mike said. “I’ve been giving myself permission to be dad … I couldn’t imagine going through this season with any other perspective.”